The Workforce Analysis and Planning Program (WAPP) supports industry and labour market partners in the development of market intelligence, domestic workforce strategies and implementation plans to better respond to the growing labour challenges in BC’s agriculture and food industry.

The WAPP is a three-year, up to $400,000 program under the Agriculture and Food Workforce Development Initiative (AWDI). AWDI is funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. The initiative is a $15M fund designed to support BC’s agriculture industry to provide a stable and increasing food supply through targeted efforts to recruit and retain a sufficient workforce to meet the labour needs of the industry. AWDI is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF).

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Overview

The Program provides up to $100,000 in cost-shared funding to identify, develop, and support projects that enhance domestic agriculture and food workforce development and labour market strategies in BC. Eligible projects must have a domestic labour/workforce focus and cross-industry or broad-sector benefit with multiple ultimate beneficiaries.

Program Goal

WAPP aims to provide industry with financial support to develop and implement domestic labour market development strategies and workforce plans to better respond to the growing labour challenges in BC’s agriculture, seafood, and food processing sectors.

Program Objectives

  • Improved understanding of current agriculture labour market issues.
  • Improved understanding of issues and barriers that face the domestic agriculture labour market.
  • Promote the creation of strategic industry partnerships necessary to address labour market issues
  • Development of targeted strategies and implementation plans with clearly defined outcomes/metrics to address and assess labour market issues.

Approach

Applications will be accepted on a continual basis through a two-step application process consisting of an Expression of Interest (EOI) followed by a full project application.

Program Structure

Funding is available to industry to support the following streams:

Funding Stream
Project Funding Limits
Cost-Shared Ratio
Stream 1: Labour Market Intelligence, Research and Analysis Maximum $100,000 70% up to $100K
Stream 2: Strategies and Planning Maximum $100,000 70% up to $100K

Specific details on eligible costs and reimbursement are provided in the sections to follow. The total funding limit per applicant cannot exceed $100,000. Applicants are eligible to apply for funding to more than one stream under the WAPP, however, applicants cannot implement projects or receive funding through both streams at the same time.

Stacking of funds from other government programs is allowed up to 100%, provided other funds are not from programs delivered by IAF.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Participants

To be considered eligible for this program, an applicant must be located in the province of British Columbia, and must be:

  • Agriculture, agri-food and seafood industry association or similar type organizations. Industry associations can apply on behalf of groups of individual producers.
  • Legal entities from the agriculture, agri-food and seafood sector that are not represented by an industry association, when applying on behalf of a group of individual producers / processors. Applicant must represent a majority of a sector.

Eligible Activities and Expenses

Eligible activities and costs include the activities that support the development and implementation of domestic labour market development strategies and workforce plans. Strategic partnerships are a requirement of this program.

Eligible activities and/or expenses may include but are not limited to:

  • Current labour market data collection, including literature review, and analysis to better understand labour markets within the agriculture and food sectors and to define labour issues facing those sectors.
  • Planning and strategy development to inform priorities, actions, and timelines for implementation of workforce development activities.
  • Working with industry and labour market partners to develop and action implementation plans based on exiting labour market analysis, data, strategies, and plans.
  • Conducting additional research and analysis to inform strategies and implementation plans as required.
  • Developing BC, regional and/or industry specific strategies to support the implementation of the National Workforce Strategic Plan for Agriculture and Food and Beverage Manufacturing; align with federal priorities and leverage federal funding where available.
  • Consultation and industry engagement activities to drive industry leadership to implement workforce development plans (industry-led solutions).

Maximum Eligible Funding Limits

The total funding limit per applicant cannot exceed $100,000. Applicants are eligible to apply for funding to more than one stream under the WAPP, however, applicants cannot implement projects or receive funding under both streams at the same time.

Ineligible Participants, Activities, and Expenditures

The following participants, activities and expenses are not eligible to be funded under WAPP. This list is not exhaustive and is meant to be used as a guideline.

Participants

  • Individual producers, processors or other businesses represented by an industry association.
  • Researchers and/or universities.
  • Non-agricultural or agri-food individuals or groups.
  • Equine producers or associations.
  • Aquaculture, and fish farms.
  • Beekeepers or beekeeping associations.

Activities and Expenses

  • Projects targeting recruitment or retention of temporary foreign workers.
  • In-kind expenses or costs.
  • Activities not directly related to agricultural and food workforce development / planning.
  • GST and other taxes/credits reimbursed to applicant.
  • Requests for funding that are not project-based, and which are dependent upon future funding. Individual projects must have defined start and finish dates, and not be part of an applicant’s day-to-day operations (i.e., employee wages).
  • Benefit to only one employer; Assistance to a single employer may only be provided in situations where 1) the applicant represents a majority of a sector; and 2) any resulting competitive advantage experienced by the employer is incidental to broader benefit gained by the labour market.
  • Duplicate and/or replace programs or services already provided in BC.
  • Duplicate projects, information, or research already available in BC.
  • Assist business/industry in research related to new products or product development.
  • Activities that address union-management collective bargaining issues.

Applications

Important Dates

Applicants are required to complete a two-step application process. An Expression of Interest (EOI) can be submitted starting July 11, 2023, until August 8, 2023, at 4:30pm PST. EOI submissions will be accepted through the IAF Client Portal and reviewed on an on-going basis. An EOI must be received at least two (2) months before the proposed project start date.

Eligible applicants / projects will be notified with an Invitation to Apply and be invited to complete a full application.

All projects must receive IAF approval before starting activities or incurring any project costs. All projects can be 24 months in duration and must be completed no later than February 28, 2026. Retroactive approval of costs incurred prior to project approval will not be considered.

  • July 11, 2023 – EOI Intake Opened
  • August 8, 2023 – 4:30pm PST – EOI Intake Closed
  • September 8, 2023 – Notification of ‘Invitation to Apply’. Applicants will have 30 calendar days to submit a full application.
  • October 8, 2023 – Deadline for successful EOI applicants to submit a full application
  • February 28, 2026 – Project completion deadline

Application Process

Applicants will apply through the IAF Client Portal. Please create an account and register your organization (i.e. farm/ranch). Once the IAF Team have validated your information you will be able to apply to the fund. Do not wait to start this process – it can take up to two business days to validate your organization.

The application process and required documents may vary within each funding stream. The application process will generally consist of:

REMINDER: Do not wait to start this process – it can take up to two business days to validate your organization!

  1. Go to the IAF Client Portal
  2. Create a personal profile (name and email)
  3. Provide organization information, including:
    • Name
    • contact details
    • type of organization
    • BC ID / CRA numbers
    • primary contact
    • and more

The purpose of the Expression of Interest (EOI) is to determine the eligibility of your organization for funding and the eligibility of the project concept.

Select Workforce Analysis & Planning Program to provide the following information:

  • Funding stream and project type.
  • A concise project description and labour need/issue.
  • Outcomes / outputs.
  • An indicative project cost.
  • Proposed benefits / impacts.

Eligible applicants will be invited to submit a full application. The purpose of the full application is to solicit all information required for funding decision.

Complete the new ‘Full Application’ section on the EOI to provide:

  • Project start & end dates.
  • Detailed project description, labour need/issue and project objectives.
  • Provide description of key activities / outcomes, who will undertake work and timeline.
  • Intended benefits / impact.
  • Partnerships and communications plan.
  • Funding request / detailed project budget.

Applicants may provide supplementary materials in support of their application (e.g. letters of support, CV’s, quotes). These appendices can be uploaded through the IAF Client Portal as attachments to the application.

IAF staff are available to answer questions regarding eligible activities, costs and/or the application process. Applicants can contact wapp@iafbc.ca with any questions about the program or to receive support in developing their application.

Applicants are encouraged to include only activities they are confident will be completed on time and within budget limits.

Need help with IAF’s Client Portal?

We’ve created a number of tutorials and FAQs about the IAF Client Portal to help you navigate this resource successfully.

Review and Adjudication

IAF will review all EOIs for organization and project eligibility on an on-going basis leading up to the August 8, 2023, EOI deadline. Applications will be notified about the status of their EOI 30 days of submission.

Only eligible applicants / projects will be invited to complete a full application.

IAF will accept and review full applications on a continuous basis against the program’s prioritization criteria. Funding will be awarded based on eligibility and alignment with program priorities, on a first-come-first-serve basis, subject to available funds.

All final funding decisions will be communicated to applicants via email within 30 days. All adjudication decisions are final.

EOIs and applications may be assessed by a technical review / advisory committee and/or the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (AF) as required.

Notifications & Obligations

Funding Notifications & Contracts

If the project is approved, IAF will inform the applicant of the details of the decision and any associated terms and conditions. The applicant then enters into an agreement with IAF which outlines the obligations of each party.

Funding is application and project-specific and must be used for the approved project and related expenses. Funds are non-transferable. GST is not an eligible expense.

Project activities requiring financial resources cannot commence until the contribution agreement has been signed by both the applicant and IAF. All project activities and expenditures must be approved prior to commencing – retroactive costs will not be considered.

Notice of an ‘Invitation to Apply’ or funding decision will be issued within 30 days after the submission date. Projects may begin on or after a notice of approved project funding. All projects must be completed within 24 months of starting and all projects approved through the program must complete by February 28, 2026. If the project is not approved, the applicant will receive a written response from IAF.

Changes to Contracted Projects

If you are not able to complete your project according to the approved workplan, please inform the IAF Team as soon as possible using the IAF Client Portal.

Funding Acknowledgement

This program is funded by the Government of BC, therefore; acknowledgment of funding is required when publicly communicating about a project and/or funding. To ensure appropriate acknowledgments, all communications and marketing materials, including public announcements or social media posts, must be pre-approved by the IAF Communications Team. Materials can be submitted via the IAF Client Portal.

Reporting Requirements

Successful applicants must complete one or more activity and financial reports to receive payment from the program. This report must be filled out and submitted to IAF to be considered for funding reimbursement. It is important that reports are submitted on time and with all the required information. Please retain all invoices and receipts, you may be asked to submit some or all receipts/invoices following a review of your report by the IAF Team. Expenses will be reimbursed based on the approved project budget and/or audited receipts. All reporting will be completed via the IAF Client Portal.

Ready to Apply?

Applicants are required to complete a two-step application process. Expressions of Interest Closed on August 9th, 2023. Successful applications have been notified and are required to submit a full application by October 8th at 4:30PM PST.

Resources

FAQ

Retroactive costs will not be considered. All projects must receive IAF approval before starting activities or incurring any project costs.

Maximum of 24 months to complete your project. All projects must be completed by February 28, 2026.

Please provide the status of the permit and any supporting documentation at the time of application.

All recipients are required to comply with all necessary laws and regulations.

IAF provides payments by EFT (direct deposit). To get your EFT information set up to ensure timely delivery of your payment(s), please follow the directions provided here to update your client portal.

Successful applicants must complete one or more activity and financial reports to receive payment from the program. Payment schedules will be provided in the Contribution Agreement executed with the project proponent.

No, GST is not eligible for reimbursement.

Have a Question?

Contact the IAF Team

Workforce Analysis and Planning, Program

Download the WAPP Program Guide.

Funding Acknowledgement Requirements

Download the Funding Acknowledgement Requirements for WAPP.

Have a Current Project?

Please visit the program’s Project Resource Hub for more information.

Province of BC Logo

This program is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.